Search Results for: Camino

Looking Backward

“It’s tough to predict things, particularly about the future,” as baseball catcher and American wit Yogi Berra said. And, “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” in a quotation attributed with small variations to George Santayana, Edmund Burke, and George Orwell. To which author Kurt Vonnegut responded, “I’ve got news for Mr. Santayana: we’re doomed to repeat the past no matter what. That’s what it is to be alive.”

Deadhorse Point © Harold Davis (Feb 2020)

Deadhorse Point © Harold Davis (Feb 2020)

Looking Backward, a famous novel by Edward Bellamy, was not a look backwards, despite the title, borrowed for this blog story. It’s a Utopian attempt to look forward 112 years from 1888 via the protagonist-in-a-trance trope, when the United States was mired in an era of deep unrest, inequality, and economic insecurity, to the year 2000, when the country had become a socialist paradise (as if!).

For me, looking backward even three months, let alone 112 years, is very strange. Three months ago, in mid February, I was free-range traveling-the-American-west photographer. After enjoying teaching at a wonderful, and probably historically unique, photography conference in Yosemite, I spent some time in Death Valley with my friend Julian from Germany, then drove west, and met another friend, Eric, in Escalante, Utah. We spent some time exploring the back-country there, as well as Arches and Canyonlands around Moab, before taking the long road home.

Earth Ramparts © Harold Davis (Feb 2020)

Earth Ramparts © Harold Davis (Feb 2020)

I had no idea what was “coming down the pike,” as I think most of us did not. My forward plans were focused on upcoming travel to Europe and a trek on the Camino de Santiago (come to think of it, that would have been right about now in a hypothetical alternative universe in which the pandemic was contained and isolated in Wuhan).

So as I get around to processing some of my photos from only a short while ago, it is easy to see how much I didn’t know then. Knowing how little I knew then, it is still no less hard to know where things go now. After all, it’s tough to predict things, particularly about the future. I can hope for a better world, with more justice, equality, common sense, and a vaccine—but those of us who make it to the world of the future will see what actually has transpired.

Posted in Coronavirus times, Photography, Writing

Photographing Flowers at Home

So I am sheltering in place at home, like many (or most) of us. In some alternative universe, my travel plans have proceeded, well, according to plan—and I would be in the midst of a long trip to Germany, France, and trekking along the Camino de Santiago. Since I seem unable to predict what groceries we will have tomorrow, or when there will be plentiful TP again, or indeed anything at all about the Zombie Apocalypse that is upon us, predicting when I will travel again with my camera seems a true exercise in futility.

For me, there is some good news in all the awful stuff going on. First, we remain very busy. Also, our four kids are actually happier on Zoom and at home than they were in school. In contrast to some parental angst I have been reading about being cooped up with one’s kids, they have been getting along very nicely together, and we all have been enjoying spending time together.

And the garden is going into full bloom! If I can’t photograph the world at large, I can have a great time photographing at home. Here are some of my floral images from recent days! No social distancing for these flowers. Which one is your favorite?

Poppies from our Garden Path © Harold Davis

Poppies from our Garden Path © Harold Davis

Flowers as a Group © Harold Davis

Flowers as a Group © Harold Davis

Papaver Party © Harold Davis

Papaver Party © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Spring in California

It’s mid-January, and that means springtime in Berkeley. Witness two iPhone photographs: the soles of Phyllis’s gardening shoes with dirt contrasting to the treads, and the gate to a neighbor’s lush garden. I am really excited this year as we have many Papavers to plant, small-sized and straight from the nursery. Hopefully, they’ll be in bloom when I get back from the Camino de Santiago towards the end of May, and voilà! My models will await me. 

Garden Gate © Harold Davis

Garden Gate © Harold Davis

Planting Shoes © Harold Davis

Planting Shoes © Harold Davis

Here are our front stairs from last year with plantings:

Home © Harold Davis

Home © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Harold Davis—Best of 2019

The journey continues! 2019 was an exciting year for art, photography, books, teaching workshops, and travel. Abroad, I walked another pilgrimage trail; this time from Tui, on the River Minho and the Portuguese border to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. At home I enjoyed time with my family as well as some exciting new artistic horizons. I am looking forward to a gazillion fresh adventures in art, photography, and travel in 2020!

The images are more-or-less in the order made in the course of the year; or, at least, in the order processed and uploaded. Below each image, I’ve added links to the relevant blog stories that include my selected images (where I blogged them). I’ve been in a reflective mood lately; to see some of my musings please click here to read my Guest Blog Post, Photographer As Poet, Harold Davis.

My “Best Of” selections for prior years, going back to 2013, can be found here.

Crepuscular Coast v2 © Harold Davis

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Gerbera Petals © Harold Davis

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Eiffel Tower in Paris Landscape © Harold Davis

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Night Highway © Harold Davis

Baltazar Chrysanthemum © Harold Davis

Blue #1 © Harold Davis

Pale Garden © Harold Davis

Pale Garden © Harold Davis

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Quartet © Harold Davis

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Wisteria Gate © Harold Davis

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Japanese Bridge, Schwetzingen Garden © Harold Davis

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X-Ray Floral Medley Fusion © Harold Davis

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Nautilus X-Rays © Harold Davis

Nautilus X-Rays © Harold Davis

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Tulips X-Ray Fusion © Harold Davis

Tulips X-Ray Fusion © Harold Davis

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Paris Landscape © Harold Davis

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Flowers at Giverny © Harold Davis

Flowers at Giverny © Harold Davis

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Giverny Afternoon © Harold Davis

Giverny Afternoon © Harold Davis

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Inside Tui Cathedral © Harold Davis

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Tulips Fusion X-Ray © Harold Davis

Garden along the Camino © Harold Davis

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Scallop Shell Symbol on the Side of the Cathedral of Santiago © Harold Davis

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Rose Bouquet © Harold Davis

Sunset at Sea © Harold Davis

Old-Fashioned Rose © Harold Davis

Old-Fashioned Rose © Harold Davis

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Flower Block on White © Harold Davis

Flower Block on White © Harold Davis

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Flowers that Remain Behind © Harold Davis

Flowers that Remain Behind © Harold Davis

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Columbine © Harold Davis

Angel's Trumpets © Harold Davis

Angel’s Trumpets © Harold Davis

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Nesting Bowls and a Nautilus Slice © Harold Davis

Nesting Bowls and a Nautilus Slice © Harold Davis

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Weaving with Light © Harold Davis

Weaving with Light © Harold Davis

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Cactus Flower Detail V © Harold Davis

Cactus Flower Detail V © Harold Davis

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Eye Dahlia © Harold Davis

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Red Vein Indian Mallow © Harold Davis

Solar Flare © Harold Davis

Dark Angel © Harold Davis

Dark Angel © Harold Davis

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Bench © Harold Davis

Bench © Harold Davis

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Flower Magic © Harold Davis

Flower Magic © Harold Davis

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Curled Epiphany © Harold Davis

Curled Epiphany © Harold Davis

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Rollback © Harold Davis

Rollback © Harold Davis

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Gaillardia-gami © Harold Davis

Gaillardia-gami © Harold Davis

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Dawn Chorus Unbound © Harold Davis

Dawn Chorus Unbound © Harold Davis

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Sound of the Sea © Harold Davis

Sound of the Sea © Harold Davis

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Love of Spirals © Harold Davis

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Through the Rabbit Hole © Harold Davis

Through the Rabbit Hole © Harold Davis

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The Spiral Heart © Harold Davis

The Spiral Heart © Harold Davis

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Falling into Spirals V2 © Harold Davis

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Hydrangea Blossoms © Harold Davis

Hydrangea Blossoms © Harold Davis

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Wreath © Harold Davis

Wreath © Harold Davis

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Untitled In-Camera Multiple exposure © Harold Davis

Untitled In-Camera Multiple exposure © Harold Davis

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Mandala with Starfish © Harold Davis

Mandala with Starfish © Harold Davis

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Echinacea Seed Pod © Harold Davis

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Untitled © Harold Davis

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Montmartre and Sacre-Coeur © Harold Davis

Montmartre and Sacre-Coeur © Harold Davis

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Chartres Exterior II © Harold Davis

Along the Old Schoolhouse Trail © Harold Davis

Along the Old Schoolhouse Trail © Harold Davis

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I hope you’ve enjoyed my images and the associated blog stories. Most images available as prints. Please inquire. Check out my self-selected bests from previous years in Best Images Annuals!

Posted in Best Of, Photography

San Francisco Reflections

Wandering with a friend in downtown San Francisco last week, I was struck by all the new construction, and how much things have changed. Over the past half-dozen years I have mostly wandered more exotic paths—Son Doong Cave in Vietnam, the Kumano kodo in Japan, the Camino de Santiago, and more—and have seldom set foot in San Francisco.

The place has changed, almost beyond recognition. What struck me most in the area around Salesforce Tower is all the modern, reflective windows, which sometimes provide echoes of a distant and almost forgotten past, now alienated and completely separate from the present.

Rage Against the Grid © Harold Davis

Rage Against the Grid © Harold Davis (1 Sansome St)

Time Travel © Harold Davis

Time Travel © Harold Davis (1 Sansome St)

We cannot enclose the clouds © Harold Davis

We cannot enclose the clouds © Harold Davis (1 Sansome St)

What windows do we want? © Harold Davis

What windows do we want? © Harold Davis (45 Fremont St)

At the conclusion of our walk, we headed across the top of the Broadway Tunnel to Chinatown, which in contrast to the slicker downtown seems pretty much as it always was, a bustling enclave of tourists and Chinese-Americans doing their thing.

Here’s a “sort of take the photographer’s life in his hands” fisheye of the eastern mouth of the tunnel. You can see the light trail of a vehicle that was too close and too fast on the right of my position, and my companion as a kind of “ghost” on the left hand side of the image.

Broadway Tunnel © Harold Davis

Broadway Tunnel © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography, San Francisco Area

Home, Peonies, and Irises

I’ve been traveling a month and a day—with x-ray photography, a lovely group in Paris (the after-hours session in Monet’s garden at Giverny was probably my favorite part), and a trek on the Camino Portuguese. How great to come home to family, and a house filled with flowers for me to photograph!

Sunset at Sea © Harold Davis

Somehow my adventures of the past month feel like a dream, but also it feels like a dream to be here now. Which is a dream, and which is real life?

Peonies and Irises on White © Harold Davis

Peonies and Irises on Black © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela at Sunrise

For well over a millennia, the Cathedral of Saint James has been the goal of a tireless—and tired and footsore—stream of pilgrims toiling along the various Caminos that lead to Santiago de Compostela. The Cathedral is shown here in the distance by the first light of dawn. It is “brought closer” since I used a 300mm telephoto focal length lens.

Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela at Sunrise © Harold Davis

Posted in Spain

Blue Arrow and Yellow Arrow

The algorithm for following one of the pilgrimage trails to Santiago de Compostela is really pretty simple: follow the yellow arrows, or the well-known Camino clamshell trail markers. If you go 100 meters without seeing a yellow arrow or a clamshell, maybe you made a wrong turn. Go back to the last place you saw a marker or arrow, and look around carefully. It can be a little hard to see the symbols when the trail goes through a busy city, but basically if you stick to this process you can’t go wrong.

Blue and Yellow Arrow © Harold Davis

The Camino Portuguese heads north from Portugal to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. In contrast, the pilgrimage to Our Lady of Fatima heads south to Fatima, which is about 100 KM north of Lisbon in Portugal. So the two pilgrimages go in opposite directions. The Camino Portuguese is marked, as I’ve noted, with yellow arrows. The Fatima pilgrimage is marked with blue arrows. It’s not unusual depending on the time of year to see pilgrims along the routes going in both directions, one group following the yellow arrows, and the other following the blue arrows, each set of pilgrims walking in the exact opposite direction of the other pilgrimage.

Posted in Photography

Seen Along the Way of Saint James

Here are a few random sightings captured with my iPhone camera on the Way of Saint James, specifically the Camino Portuguese, on my walk through southern Galicia towards Santiago.

Pilgrim Church © Harold Davis

Above, the interior dome and chandelier of the Pilgrim Church—Capela da Virxe Peregrina—in Pontevedra. It was fun climbing to the top of the dome, which I did after making this photo and getting my Pilgrim book stamped.

Below, the alternate Camino passes through a tunnel under train tracks beside a small river. If the Way seems narrow in the photo, indeed it was!

Tunnel on the Camino © Harold Davis

Finally, walking through the gritty outskirts of Arcade, a witch is seen rising before the moon on her broomstick. The circular moon is of course echoed in the heating unit that appears above the witch.

Witch © Harold Davis

Posted in iPhone, Spain

Last Gas

I found this signage advertising the “latest” bar on the Camino Portuguese shortly before the Spanish border where the great pilgrimage trail crosses the River Minho to Tui, Spain. By “latest” I’m pretty sure that they meant “last”—so this is one of those signs like “last gas in Nevada.” Does one really care? Are the bars in Spain so different from those in Portugal? Experience tells me: not so much.

Last Gas © Harold Davis

Posted in Bemusements, Photography

Roman Bridges of Galicia

There are literally hundreds of Roman bridges in Galicia, many used by or adjacent to the Camino Portuguese.

Some of these are more recent constructions on the Roman-engineered foundations, but with other the literal stones of the bridges date back millennia. The Oronelle Bridge, shown below, was built by the Romans, and is still quite usable,

It’s amazing to see the grooves in the stones worn by cart wheels and foot tread over the vast span of years!

Oronelle Bridge © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography, Spain

Inside Tui Cathedral and I Have a Bilbo Baggins Moment

Tui Cathedral is nominally the starting point for my Camino. This is where my pilgrimage begins. The distances are calculated from the doors of the Cathedral.

Inside, the Cathedral is a heady and eclectic blend of Gothic, Romanesque, and Baroque styles. In the image, the double organs across each side of the nave is something I’ve never seen anywhere else. In addition, the Cathedral was a frontier fortress with battlements, terraces, and a fortified cloisters, on active alert across the River Minho facing the “enemy” fortress  on the other side for centuries.

Inside Tui Cathedral © Harold Davis

This morning I had my “Bilbo Baggins” moment. A somewhat portly, middle-aged gent, I checked out of the hotel, leaving my key at the front desk, slipped on my pack and headed across the meadow to the trail. Oh, the moment was slightly spoiled when I had to adjust the lacing on my boots before getting started (hobbits don’t wear shoes of course).

The sky was gray with storm-wracked clouds and the forecast was for wet weather. Instead of worrying about a pocket handkerchief as Bilbo famously did, I wondered whether my the rain cover for my pack was handy.

Posted in Spain

Excited about new upcoming adventures

I’m excited about my upcoming trip to Europe. I’ll be in Germany working with my friend Julian Kopke to make more x-rays and fusions x-rays, then leading a small group of photographers in Paris, and then after Paris walking the Camino Portuguese. For this walk, I’ll be heading north on this pilgrimage trail from Tui at the Spain-Portugal border on the River Minho north to Santiago de Compostela. Like last year’s Camino, I will be photographing and hope to be blogging my adventures as I go.

Paris from Montmartre © Harold Davis

Triple Spiral Stairs (Looking Up) in Santiago © Harold Davis

 

Posted in Photography

Explorations, projects, digital collages, constructions, and more

I confess: sometimes I lose track of my own work. Lately—over the past year or so—I’ve been working on related themes, groupings of images that are tightly, or loosely, linked. The very nature of blogging and social media, not to mention photography’s voracious ability to create imagery of all kinds, means these themes can get lost. In response, I decided to start an Explorations page with links to…explorations, digital collages, constructions, meanderings, and ongoing artistic projects—organized thematically.

This has been an enjoyable way for me to get a better handle on what I’ve been up to (sometimes this isn’t apparent even to the artist until some way down the road of creation). Maybe you will like some of the projects and ideas as well.

X-rays and Fusion X-rays (2018-2019); About

Camino de Santiago (2018-2019); Story

Monochrome Florals (2011-2019); Story

Bottled Light (2018-2019); Words

Curves Ahead (2019); Words

Homage to Rothko (2018-2019)

White Daemon (2018); About

Easy Travel to Other Planets (2018-2019)

Optical Studies (2018-2019); Story

Petal Galaxy (2015-2019); Story

Dancing with the Stars (2017-2018); Story

Blades of Grass (2017-2018); About

Posted in Photography

Explorations

X-rays and Fusion X-rays (2018-2019); About

Camino de Santiago (2018-2019); Story

Monochrome Florals (2011-2019); Story

Bottled Light (2018-2019); Words

Curves Ahead (2019); Words

Homage to Rothko (2018-2019)

White Daemon (2018); About

Easy Travel to Other Planets (2018-2019)

Optical Studies (2018-2019); Story

Petal Galaxy (2015-2019); Story

Dancing with the Stars (2017-2018); Story

Blades of Grass (2017-2018); About

Malta (2017-2018); Stories

 

Landscapes (2005- )

B&W (2007- )

Nachi-san © Harold Davis

Japan (2013); Stories